The Government’s Response to Hurricane Katrina
In this analysis, the role of the government and it’s response to Hurricane Katrina will be examined. This is a complex subject which raises many questions, such as: (1.) the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina resulting from the layered government administration, (2.) several types of errors in policies causing neglect in decision making, (3.) the political manipulation of disaster declaration and relief aid to win votes, (4.) the problems of acquiring timely and accurate solutions, (5.) Glory seeking by government officials, (6.) the short sightedness effect causing a one-sidedness in governmental decision making. In this analysis, the hypothesis of the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina were delayed due to: (1.) lack of supplies (i.e. water, food, or shelter, etc), (2.) lack of sanitary conditions, (3.) inadequate evacuation planning, (4.) back-up communication systems at various levels, (5.) lack of mismanagement and leadership, (6.) lack of medical attention, and (7.) lack of money.
In this analysis, the role of the local, state, and federal government will be examined. In addition, my personal experience of Hurricane Katrina will be examined. A hurricane is a type of tropical cyclone, which is a generic term for a low pressure system that generally forms in the tropics. The cyclone is accompanied by thunderstorms and, in the Northern Hemisphere, a counterclockwise circulation of winds nears the earth's surface. Hurricanes are categorized according to the strength of their winds using the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. A Category 1 storm has the lowest wind speeds,
while a Category 5 hurricane has the strongest. (nhc.noaa.gov) Hurricanes are natural occurrences that cannot be prevented, only prepared for. Hurricane Katrina started out as a tropical storm, which turned into a hurricane. Hurricane Katrina developed in the Caribbean’s and hit Florida before gaining strength in the warm water of The Gulf of Mexico. On August 24, 2005, the first alert of the tropical storm was given out. On August 26, 2005, a warning from the National Weather Service showed Hurricane Katrina taking a turn for New Orleans. This is when people began to pay attention to the storm. On August 27, 2005, the metro area started to evacuate. Governor Blanco, governor of Louisiana, sent a “State of Emergency” letter to President Bush. Although, the local government gave mandatory evacuation twenty-two hours before the storm hit, they did not make provisions to evacuate the large numbers of citizens unable to evacuate themselves. The New Orleans Mayor, Ray Nagin was criticized for failing to implement his evacuation plan. Mayor Ray Nagin refused to use school buses that were available. When Mayor Ray Nagin was asked why the school buses were not used to assist with evacuations; He gave the excuse of a lack of insurance liability. (wikipedia.org) On August 28, 2005, Hurricane Katrina developed into a massive Category 5. Hurricane Katrina was one of the strongest storms that ever collide with the Coastal United States in the last century. Strong winds sustained during landfall of over 140 mph. Despite monitoring the storm’s development, tracking its movement, and issuing early
warnings. Hurricane Katrina has proved to be the most destructive and costliest natural disaster in the history of the United State. This catastrophic event nearly destroyed New Orleans, and is responsible for an estimated 80 billion dollars in damages. Nonetheless, the most severe loss of life and property damage occurred due to flooding. The levee system failed just hours after the storm had moved inland. Nearly every levee in metro New Orleans was breached as Hurricane Katrina passed through New Orleans, Louisiana. Eventually 80% of the city became flooded and also large tracts of neighboring parishes and the floodwaters lingered for weeks. The levee failures prompted investigations of their design and construction which belongs solely to the US Army Corps of Engineers as mandated in the Flood Control Act of 1965. (wikipedia.org) Soon after the storm ended, publ...